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BDO Thunder Bay

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Thunder Bay, Ontario
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How to Help Foster an Honest Relationship with Debt

Relationships can be hard to build and maintain. It can be easy to tell white lies or avoid problems just to get through the day. The best and most productive relationships, though, areones that are honest. The same goes for money!

Gen Xers face unique debt management challenges. According to BDO’s Affordability Index, released in late 2018, 26 per cent of Canadians in that age group say they find their debt load overwhelming and don’t know what to do about it.

Higher debt loads lead to affordability challenges. You might find it harder to buy a car, afford a home, or simply get groceries on a regular basis.

Being more honest about your relationship with money is an important part of turning these feelings around. It can help you in a myriad of ways. Here are a few and some tools you can use to get there.

You can better reach your long-term financial goals.

In the Affordability Index mentioned above, 82 percent of respondents said they felt financially unprepared for retirement. 79 percent said they weren’t prepared for a home purchase. Debt is contributing to this feeling of unpreparedness and avoiding it can only make the problem worse.

A debt repayment calculator can help you figure out what you owe and how long it will take to pay it off. Creating a plan for dealing with debt will help you reach those long-term financial goals you might have otherwise been unprepared for.

You can improve personal relationships.

In last year’s “debt confessions” poll, BDO Canada found that finances are a significant stressor on real relationships. In the poll, Canadians answered that if they could change one of their partner’s financial habits, 43 percent would change “overspending or a lack of budget”, while 36 percent would change “not saving enough for long-term goals”.

Clearly, fostering an honest relationship with debt and making an action plan for reducing it pays off for significant others in your life too. Communication about money is key as you work on debt management.

You will feel less stressed.

Knowing your solutions for how to get help with debt will reduce the stress you feel over money. Yummy Mummy Club has a great post on the five finance tips every grown woman should know, and it closes with the thought that “wealth is a state of mind”. It prescribes that it’s okay to want more and to value pleasure through belongings. By being honest with your reality, though, you can help put these stressful feelings aside.

What strategies will you apply to your life to become more honest about your relationship with debt? Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtags #LeaveDebtBehind, #GenXers, and #DebtAdvice.

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